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Friday, October 15, 2010

Memo to Prez: Time to restore science to its "rightful place"

President "President Obama has said he will base funding decisions on evidence and 'restore science to its rightful place.' A widely heralded scientific breakthrough gives him the chance to turn his airy rhetoric into solid action.

Mr. Obama and other politicians who minimize the value of early human life have swallowed hook, line and sinker the hyperbolic speculations of grant-seeking embryonic stem cell researchers. Mr. Obama has joined the politicians who have turned embryonic stem cell research into a wedge issue. For years these self-righteous politicians have hurled stones at their pro-life opponents who advocated ethical adult stem cell research, accusing them of cruelly standing in the way of cures.
During his vice presidential campaign, Sen. John Edwards boasted of embryonic stem cell research, vowing, "People like Christopher Reeve will get up out of that wheelchair and walk again." Now we know that Mr. Edwards' vows on any subject weren't exactly reliable.
As a professed Catholic opposing her church on the issue, House Speaker Nancy Pelosi brazenly trumpeted embryonic stem cell research as holding "the biblical power to cure."
But time has a way of testing truth, and none of these incredible statements has come close to fruition. Yet the snake oil campaign greased the skids for hundreds of millions of federal and state tax dollars to be dumped into the black hole of embryonic stem cell research during a time of economic crisis. A federal judge on Aug. 23 granted a temporary halting of such illegal and prodigal research, based on a lawsuit brought by several adult stem cell researchers, the Christian Medical Association and others.
News reports recently heralded a landmark breakthrough--scientists producing apparently safe, efficient and effective alternatives to human embryonic stem cells, using induced pluripotent stem cells, or iPS cells. Compared to the speculative, controversial and dangerous embryonic stem cell research that Mr. Obama has insisted on funding illegally, iPS cell and adult stem cell research is a cheaper, faster, safer, more efficient and quicker path to real cures for real patients.
So here is the evidence, Mr. President. Will you now keep your word and restore science to its rightful place, obey the law and focus our funding on ethical and effective stem cell research that offers the best hope for real patients?

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